Photograph by Natasja Kremers
So you’re a Mum walking down the aisle? Congratulations! Being a Mum is a full time role in itself, throw in a career, lifestyle and all the other unexpected things life brings, and you have a very busy lady on your hands. So when you announce your wedding, it’s yet another host of tasks to squeeze into your daily planner.
My name is Cindy and I am an Australian personal stylist and image consultant, Director, mother of four and stepmother of four – yes, my lifestyle is demanding. I can well understand a mother’s position who is trying to source the perfect wedding dress and generally feeling like they don’t have the time.
The term “wedding” can draw an exhausted sigh from some women and their partners. It’s generally the thought of how they are going to get everything done in time. Many of the brides that consult with me feel they are too busy to shop for their wedding dress or perhaps they are not sure what will suit them or what they are after. As women and mothers we generally like to think “we can do it all” but in terms of a finding a wedding dress, this is a very important purchase and quick decisions can lead to settling on something you may not love.
My key rules with fashion and style are that you must love it, feel confident in it and be comfortable. But how do you achieve that without the luxury of time?
- Firstly, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether it’s friends or family, make the most of your networks.
- Brief retail staff so they understand your requirements and perhaps even hire a professional to assist you. Style consultation, can be beneficial as your consultant will assist you with body shape and what style of dress may suit you and also colours that will flatter. They are well researched in trends and retailers to cut shopping time in half. In short, being organised and doing your homework will help your dress mission immensely.
- Even if you feel like you have no idea what you are after, I recommend creating a mood board and start brainstorming ideas before you start shopping. Know your body shape and your best features and start to collect images that appeal to you whether in magazines or online. It may be the colour that strikes you, the cut of the dress or the fabric and detailing. Possibly even consider the style of dress you might prefer in terms of something traditional, unique or modern. Keep these images and take them with you when you shop. Doing this research will help with the retailers you choose to visit and will save time on the amount of dresses you will try on.
- Lead times are crucial as the wedding industry is generally busy. Months can be required if getting a dress custom made and even off-the-rack dresses might not be in stock so leave yourself plenty of time.
- Most bridal boutiques require an appointment, which is beneficial, as you’ll receive one-on-one personalised attention at a time that suits you. Research the retailer and ensure the dresses are within your budget to save time. Avoid Saturdays if you can and shop during the week (while the kids are at school) as retailers can be quite hectic on a Saturday and I’ve generally found staff more productive during the week when it’s quieter.
- If you can, avoid taking young kids with you at least initially unless you have someone with you who can mind them while you try dresses on and are fitted. Wedding dresses can take time to change in and out of and if you only have an hour, you want to make the most of the time. Try and also take one or two people shopping with you who you know will be supportive and honest. Taking the entire bridal party should be left until the end as too many opinions may confuse you.
- Finally, a wedding dress is generally known to be the “dress of your dreams.” And so it should be. So you don’t need an entire day trawling bridal boutiques, do your research and target only those within your budget, that do appointments to your schedule and stock your preferred dress style. The dress needs to fit perfectly (you will be in it all day), you need to feel amazing when you wear it and ensure it reflects your personal style. Your wedding day is about you and your partner; guests should be able to see that.
Ms Gingham says: Some great tips for Mums and not-quite Mums alike. Thanks to Cindy from Cinz for the post.
About Cindy: Cindy Newstead is a leading Melbourne personal styling expert achieving incredible results for her extensive client base across Australia. Cindy is Director and Owner of Cinz, an organisation committed to the development of personal and professional empowerment through customised style consultation. She believes that fashionable style is not restricted to those with big wardrobe budgets or on-trend fashion devotees but is enjoyable and achievable for everyone.